Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2


Pauses the command processor for the specified number of seconds.


timeout /t TimeoutInSeconds [/nobreak]

/t TimeoutInSeconds
Specifies the decimal number of seconds (between -1 and 99999) to wait before the command processor continues processing. The value -1 causes the computer to wait indefinitely for a keystroke.

Specifies to ignore a user key stroke.

Displays help at the command prompt.

  • The timeout command is typically used in batch files.

  • A user keystroke resumes the command processor execution immediately, even if the time-out period has not expired.

  • Timeout is similar to the MS-DOSpause command when you use it in conjunction with the sleep command.


To pause the command processor for ten seconds, type:

timeout /t 10

To pause the command processor for 100 seconds and to ignore any key press, type:

timeout /t 100 /nobreak

To pause the command processor indefinitely until a key is pressed, type:

timeout /t -1

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Format Meaning


Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

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Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

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Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

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Code or program output

See Also